Alvarez down to No. 7 in new-look Bucs lineup

Alvarez down to No. 7 in new-look Bucs lineup

Alvarez down to No. 7 in new-look Bucs lineup
MIAMI -- Pedro Alvarez is back in the starting lineup, but he finds himself in a new position in the order.

The young Pirates third baseman, who has primarily hit in the middle of the order, found himself batting seventh in Tuesday night's opener against the Marlins. Right fielder Garrett Jones now sits in Alvarez's usual fifth spot in the lineup.

"There is ownership to a lineup, and you give guys the opportunity to move, and when guys aren't getting things done, you shuffle them around," manager Clint Hurdle said. "I'm going to be proactive rather than reactive with it. Right now, Jones has earned five and Pedro has earned seven."

Hurdle has also moved Andrew McCutchen to the top of the order and Lyle Overbay into the third spot. The Bucs skipper is pleased with how his new lineup looks from top to bottom.

"I like the way the bats have lined up with the switch-hitters breaking up the left-handers now," Hurdle said. "McCutchen's spark is back up top, and [No. 2 hitter Jose] Tabata still hasn't cooled off. We'll see where Overbay takes it in the three slot."

Pittsburgh's manager first started tinkering with the lineup about a week ago when his team was struggling to score runs. But after an offensive explosion last weekend in Cincinnati, he believes his team has moved past its offensive struggles.

"We fell into an offensive rut, and I wanted to see if we could shake out of it," Hurdle said. "We'll see how this plays out, but we definitely shook out of it in Cincinnati."

While some on the outside may criticize Hurdle's decision to be more fluid with his lineup than most managers, the veteran skipper is more concerned with how his team performs than any outside opinions.

"I really don't care what anybody else thinks of the lineup at the end of the day," Hurdle said. "My job is to put a lineup out there that's going to perform."